J Rheum Dis.  2020 Jul;27(3):128-135. 10.4078/jrd.2020.27.3.128.

Mechanism-based Drug Therapy of Inflammatory Bowel Disease With Special Reference to Rheumatic Disease

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), comprised of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a chronic, relapsing, and remitting disease of the gastrointestinal tract whose incidence is rising worldwide, especially in East Asian countries. The etiopathogenesis of IBD remains poorly understood. It is currently considered that a combination of genetic and environmental factors triggers an aberrant immune response against the commensal intestinal flora in IBD patients. Over the past decades, advances in the knowledge of the inflammatory cascade involved in IBD pathogenesis have expanded the pharmacological armamentarium in IBD. Actually, the introduction of specific biological therapies, including anti- tumor necrosis factor, anti-interleukin- 12/23, and anti-integrin, has revolutionized the treatment of IBD. Moreover, small molecule agents such as Janus kinase inhibitors also now under clinical use. In IBD, a substantial number of patient accompanies various articular manifestations and, rheumatic involvement is one of the most common extra-intestinal symptoms. Many of the mechanisms based drugs described above have already been used in rheumatic diseases. In addition, some of those drugs can be used to treat both IBD itself and accompanied rheumatic involvement, however there are differences in drug usage between these two indications. This review aims to briefly review the mechanism-based drug therapies of IBD with particular reference to rheumatic disease.


Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis; Pathogenesis; Biologics; Small molecule
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